1958 Chevy Apache - MegoBux
An Old Apache Hits The Warpath Again
We rarely show a classic pickup that's not attempting to emulate the street-rod aesthetic of the past, or the laid-out latitude of contemporary custom styles. So, what is this? Could this be something...different? A '58 Chevy Apache with big, knobby tires and a notable lift?
Back in the day, farmers and ranchers certainly needed to haul their fence posts and what not across the rough and tumble of the off-road. So, a lifted 4x4 Chevy shouldn't be a surprising sight. But it is, and a pleasant one, too-not just for the old-skool, get-the-job-done vibe radiated by this old pickup, though. It's got some new-skool, head-turning, turf-churning mods, too. San Diego, California, resident Dixie Brown, bought the truck in 1967 and recently spent four years working with Street Rod Factory in San Marcos, California, to get it to look like it does right now.
We'll start with the tilt front end. At first, we thought it was just the hood that tilted forward, but a second glance revealed the hood, headlights, grille, fenders, and everything were integrated into one piece and now rotate forward automatically to uncover the engine compartment. Street Rod Factory (SRF) made this mod happen, as well as just about everything else on this truck, except for the upholstery and transmission. The truck's front end retains the classic design; with the exception of the chrome applied to the headlight bezels, the grille, and the bumper. Also, the Chevrolet hood badging has been nixed.
SRF made sure that the cab and rear belt line up -raising the bed 4 inches in the process. The molded bedrails and rear of the cab have been smoothed and finished. The cab seams went away, but they weren't the only things to go; the door handles were shaved and the taillights have been transformed into a vertical slice of LEDs. SRF yanked the rear bumper and replaced it with a custom roll pan, then applied custom inner fender wells, as well. Next, tiny sport mirrors replaced the originals, and the doors now swing suicide style. We like the wood-lined bed floor with ebony highlights that match the truck's PPG Black and Barely Blue paintjob. An electric ram lifts one of the planks in the bed to reveal the fuel filler and two batteries, while another set of rams opens and closes the tailgate.
The chassis is comprised of a boxed custom frame, Ford 9-inch Posi rearend with a 3.70:1 ratio, GM frontend, Air Ride airbags, ladder bars, new sway bars, and shocks. GM spindles hold the 16-inch Weld Racing wheels, which are wrapped in aggressive Interco TSL Thornbird 35x12.50-16LT tires. Powdercoated steel brake lines feed the four-wheel disc brake system. And, a 22-gallon fuel cell was located under the bed.
A glance at the 3/4-angle photo shows that the '69 Chevy 427ci V-8 is way too modified to be kept under wraps. The coated four-into-one headers bristle visibly from underneath the fenders when the airbag suspension is extended. Those headers flow into a 3-inch Borla exhaust system. But, there's much more to this engine, however. It's topped by a massive air intake, which breathes for the intimidating BDS supercharger nestled between the ported and polished heads. MSD ignition caters to the engine's spark, while Holley fuel injection delivers the go-juice, and a GM TH400 automatic three-speed transmission-coupled with a B&M shift kit-delivers the rotational energy to the rest of the driveline. Oceanside Transmission in Oceanside, California, took care of the transmission work.
North County Upholstery in San Marcos, California, lined much of the interior with gray leather-and by much we mean almost everything: dash, doors, Glide bucket seats, headliner, center console, you name it-following pleasing, tapered, customized lines. Dark blue suede panels accent the door panels, floor, seats, and headliner. The overall effect looks clean and classy. The wedge-shaped instrument cluster bears two white-faced gauges and a black gauge. More white gauges border the instrument panel. A billet wheel projects from the steering column. That center console tapers from the Eclipse head unit on the dash, past the billet transmission and transfer case shifters, and A/C and other controls, to the two 12-inch subwoofers located behind each seat, which are powered by an Eclipse amplifier.
Dixie said he had never had a custom like this built before. If the truck's name, Megobux, says anything, it may be a while before he tries another project like this again. Let's hope, though, that he gathers enough bucks for another mega-classic pickup.